India set another global record in new virus cases on Thursday, with another 375,000 people affected, as the country moves up to open its vaccination rollout to all adults on Saturday.
The health ministry reported 3,645 deaths in the last 24-hour period, bringing India’s total to 204,832. India has so far recorded more than 18.3 million cases, after only the United States.
India has set up a global experience for daily new cases for seven of the past eight days.
Starting Wednesday, all Indians 18 and older were permitted to register on a government app for security, but social media were flooded with complaints the app had crashed due to high use, and once it was running again, no jobs were open.
The mass vaccination drive is for the nation of nearly 1.4 billion people
began in January and has crawled along since.
Nearly 10% of people have taken one jab, but only around 1.5% have received both required doses. The latest effort to protect those between ages 18 and 44 is required to face obstacles, including whether states even have sufficient supplies.
On Wednesday, the health minister in hard-hit Maharashtra state-guaranteed free vaccines for that age group but emphasised the state didn’t have enough stock to start giving the vaccines on Saturday.
The recent surge has also been partly fed by new variants of the coronavirus, mass public companies such as state rallies and religious events that were allowed to continue, and relaxed views on the risks fed by leaders touting victory over the virus.
With the country’s healthcare system buckling under the record surge, help has also come from overseas.
On Wednesday, the United States also sent the first of several COVID-19 medical purchases to India. Britain sent a load earlier this week while others like France, Germany, Ireland and Australia have also pledged help.